6.Hidden Messages

“Ironically, we need to put front and centre the very things we do not want in our teaching, the very things we do not even know are in our teaching.” (against common sense, 2015,preparing teachers for uncertainty, pg.41)


Curriculum shaped me to be a ‘good student’.  I am mindful of how a ‘good student’ should act and ensure that that is how I am acting at all times.  I am mindful to sit still in class, I always get my work done in a timely fashion and only speak when spoken too, I raise my hand and wait when I have something to say, I am very polite and am willing to help a teacher with whatever they need, because this is what I have been taught.

While I do see the value in the lesson of a ‘good student’ from a traditional teaching approach, I also am able to recognize that a student can learn just as well and be considered a good learning student, while not embodying the traditional ideology of a good student.  I see much more value in teaching my future students to do ‘good people’.  Teaching empathy, patience and understanding are much more important to me than teaching a child to raise their hand.

Teaching is full of hidden messages.  “Rather the goal is to conscientiously make visible these hidden lessons and the various lenses students use to make sense of them.” (Pg.41,against common sense, 2015) I think it is important to emphasize the hidden messages in curriculum because the underlying messages carry very important ideas.  They carry political ideas about the type of citizen the child should become.  They also carry the hidden message about the type of human they should become.  Lessons often encourage kind, sharing and compassionate behaviour.  This is the most important hidden message in my opinion.

I need to be mindful that my future students don’t become too centred around the politics of education and the curriculum.  I also need to be mindful they don’t concern themselves too greatly with what is considered the ‘norm’ in terms of learning.   Children all learn at different paces and in different ways.  There is no wrong way of learning.  That is an important idea to pass on, I think.




5.Do teachers have a say in it at all?


In my opinion teachers SHOULD play a large role in curriculum based on the sole fact that they are the ones acting out the curriculum, teaching it to children. This of course is not the case.  Politicians carry heavy influence on what is included in curriculum and what is not included.

As educators we control how the concepts are taught, which is the largest part of curriculum.  While we don’t control the outcomes, we 100% control the indicators.  We have the freedom to customize are teaching experience based on how we see fit.  It matters less how you get to the goal as long as the children do reach the goal, the goal being the outcome or having the ability to pass the test needed to move on to the next chapter.





A Proper Thank-You is in Order


“Look into nature and you will understand everything better” -Albert Einstein

I have had many opportunities to embrace nature and to ‘disrupt the common sense of wilderness’.  A few stand out in my memory of times  I was able to connect with nature and find meaning in the wild.

The first experience I remember fondly is camping in the summers with my family.  I spend a large majority of my summer camping as a child and as a result I was able to attend many summer programs held by parks.  At these programs I went on nature hikes, watched plays, made crafts and listened to environmental educators talk.  From these programs I learned a considerable amount about conserving the environment and the history of the land.  This disrupted the ‘common sense’ meaning of wilderness because we were able to go more in depth and learn about trading posts, aboriginal culture and facts about the indigenous plants and wildlife.

The second experience I remember is outdoor ed. In my senior year I attended a week long canoe trip.  This trip took place in a remote corner of north Saskatchewan that is completely untouched by humans.  While on this trip I had the honour of seeing cave drawings made by the indigenous people hundreds of years ago.  This experience as a whole was eye opening and life changing.  It showed me the truth in our society in the sense that we destroy beautiful and maginicfiacnt landscapes so that we can feed our consumer driven way of life.  This experience made me like an invader of the land because I saw what our environment looked like before we altered it to fit our wants.

The third and final experience that came to mind for this prompt was my experience as a nature interpreter.  I talk about this experience a lot but I am able to draw a lot of connections from this job.  When I took the job  had minimal knowledge about nature and through researching for my job and learning from training I was able to gain a better understanding about the plants and animals that surround us.  This was a full circle experience for me in the regard that I used to regularly attend these summer programs and now I run them.  It disrupted my idea of common sense because I never realized how delicate and intercaste our eco system is, without one element the other cannot survive.

In conclusion, all these experiences have made me immensely more aware of the reality of our environment. I now see the beauty, complexity and importance of environment.

4:Good Student

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense? Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student? What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?

What we traditionally have understood to be a ‘good student’, is a student that is able to sit quietly in their desk all day every day, diligently taking notes while also learning the content in its entirety.  A ‘good’ student is a student who doesn’t question a teacher’s practices and is never caught off task.

This definition is good for the students who learn best by text and testing.  That however is a very small portion of today’s students.  The majority of children in today’s classrooms learn through a variety of teaching techniques.  A large number of kids need to experience the concepts in order to comprehend them, thats where the idea of learning stations and hands on learning comes in.

It is impossible to expect that every child will be capable of sitting still and listening day after day, and it is impossible to expect that children who are taught this way will be successful in their learning.  It is hard for me to believe that we ever thought that children learn best this way.

Eco literacy Braid – What does it mean to you?


With each letter I read my idea of what it meant to be Eco literate shifted slightly. To each person the definition means something slightly different. Initially this caused confusion for myself. We talk about eco literacy nearly every class but do I even know what it really means? Thus begun my process of breaking down the definition.

Kelsey’s idea of eco literacy was centred around the idea that to be eco literate one usually shows care, awareness, and experience. This was a similar theme that ran through many other peoples’ love letters. This was also an idea I personally related to, in my own letter, Joe demonstrated all of these qualities and more.  He cared for the environment and showed his compassion for nature by spreading awareness about how to help preserve what has not yet been lost.

Both Amy’s and Kate’s letters referred to farming and how in some instances farmers have eco literate tendencies.  Being raised on a farm that raised grass fed animals and rotational grazed.  I also looked to my parents as being eco literate, simply by making these choices for our farm.  Farmers are conscious of the world around them and how best to preserve it for future farming.

After reading these posts and others I was able begin to construct my own idea of eco literacy.  My fellow classmates viewed eco literacy as making conscious efforts to preserve the environment, while also raising awareness about how others can also help.

Finally I looked to the readings to check out what the ‘professionals’ had to say about eco literacy.  David Orr’s article carried the idea that eco literacy is about actions more than it is about anything anyone can say.  While it can be important to talk about eco literacy, especially in a classroom setting.  It can be equally if not more important to be an example of what it means to be eco literate.

To close, my ideas did change through out this assignment but now I see that eco literacy is more than a definition or idea.  It is about actions, actions that will help preserve a beautiful earth.  Being eco literate is about being the change you wish to see everyone make.


Amy Arnal(February 1, 2016). My Ecoliteracy Braid [Blog Post]. Retrieved from  https://amyarnal.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/ecoliteracy-braid/

Orr, David (2004). What is Education for? In Earth in Mind, pp. 7-15. Washington DC: First Island Press.

Kate Paidel(February 1,2016).Ecoliteracy ‘Love’ Letter [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://katepaidel.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/ecoliteracy-love-letter/

Kelsey Hintze(February 1,2016).Soft Approach Orr Shock Value[Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://kelseylhintze.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/soft-approach-orr-shock-value/